CEOs should do more to drive talent strategy

Tracing major global population and talent trends by using an unprecedented viewpoint, author of recently released Talent Economics - The Fine Line Between Winning and Losing the Global War for Talent (Kogan Page), Gyan Nagpal, advocates that CEOs - not the HR department - should take the driver's seat in talent strategy to manage the complexities of finding and developing a Next Generation workforce.

Taking a radically new approach to talent strategy and management, Nagpal, who was a guest speaker at the recent Emerging Markets HR Summit in London following the launch of his book in the British capital, maps out what the global landscape for talent might look like in 2020 and beyond for key economies across the globe.

Drawing from over 35 case studies and presenting some hard numbers, he puts forth in stark contrast the current and future talent complexities of a 3 billion-strong global workforce. Trends that no government or business leader would chose to ignore.

Nagpal's ideas are so refreshing that he has been invited to speak to influential business communities in cities ranging from London, New York and Denver, to Wuhan, Bangkok, Mumbai and Singapore. He will be speaking in Singapore at an official book launch in January next year, at a by-invitation-only event that is jointly organised by human resource consulting firm Caliper Human Strategies Singapore and Nagpal's own firm, PeopleLENSs Global Associates (PLGA).

"The microscope on talent is in sharp focus, and HR has more programs and processes to manage talent than ever before. The truth is that market realities in Seattle, Seville, or Shanghai are so fundamentally different; one size solutions are the short road to failure," said Nagpal, who devoted 10 years to heading strategic talent and organizational development practices across the Asia Pacific region for companies such as Deutsche Bank, American Express and Convergys Corporation, before co-founding PeopleLENS Global Associates.

"According to well-documented research, true progress towards winning the war for talent begins with clarity on what the workforce of the future will look like, and ends with talent strategy which is deeply anchored within the business agenda."

His concepts have been well received not only by the business community but academia as well.

Commenting on Nagpal's book Talent Economics, Professor Philip Anderson, INSEAD Alumni Fund Chaired Professor of Entrepreneurship, said, "Not just for human resource experts, this book is an essential addition to any leader's bookshelf. An organisation's people are its ultimate strategic weapon, and Gyan Nagpal shows you how to build and deploy an exceptional work force."

Dr Gilbert Tan, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Singapore Management University's Lee Kong Chian School of Business found the ideas "refreshing, insightful and practical", adding that the book "deserves top priority on the reading list for senior management and HR practitioners and scholars."

Dr Yeo Keng Choo, Managing Director of Caliper Human Strategies Singapore, agreed, saying, "In Talent Economics, Gyan Nagpal presents a well-researched and thoughtful review of the events and developments that have made retention of talent in organisations the challenge that it is today. His incisive analysis of today's changing economic landscape brings into focus the importance of the global environment on the supply of labour, as well as the employer-employee relationship for the future. He artfully combines these insights to offer a talent strategy that should be relevant for the century. For those serious about developing a talent strategy, the book should serve as a valuable reference and guide."

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